The creativity and cleverness behind every PR campaign comes at a cost. A lot of time, money and effort are put into planning, constructing and executing the perfect PR campaign. Each campaign is carefully molded to target a specific audience, to sell a certain idea or product, in hopes to get positive feedback with a successful return.
Because of this, it is important for PR professionals to know what campaign tactics were unsuccessful and which ones paid off–literally. Although there is no set way to measure these results, the new era of technology has provided new tools and techniques right at your fingertips to help assess and quantify the results of your PR campaign, and its impact on your target audience.
Here are some tips:
1. S.M.A.R.T Objectives
Campaign evaluation should always be aligned with set goals so that the most desirable outcome is achieved. In order to do this, you must think SMART.
SMART objectives create Specific, Measurable, Agreed–upon, Relevant and Timely goals that can help you clearly measure the return of your campaign. The more specific you are with your goal setting, the greater chance you’ll have of reaching your intended target.
Measurable goals are important because you can break them down into quantifiable measurements. Looking at the big picture can be intimidating, so breaking it down into smaller measurable milestones makes your goals seem more attainable and realistic.
Agreed–upon goals keep everyone on the same page and creates a clear idea as to what you’re working towards. Having everyone in the same recognized mindset, you create a determined, goal-oriented group, which is just as efficient as a well-oiled machine.
Relevant goals are important to you and to your company and are ones that will remain meaningful to you throughout the campaign, keeping you focused and diligent.
And finally, timely goals create deadlines for different checkpoints, and deadlines set time-based goals that make people switch into action.
2. Monitoring Social Media Platforms
Because social media is so prominent in today's world, it is the perfect strategic way to get your PR campaign from the drawing board to your target audience. With this, social media also serves as a viable way to monitor how your content is reaching the public along with the impact that it’s having on them, by monitoring things like comments, shares and likes.
Social media monitoring is a way for PR professionals to get live updates of honest public response and immediate campaign impact. Monitoring your company's social media accounts is an easy but accurate way to see if your PR campaign is producing its intended results.
At MediaHQ, we have a powerful Analytics tool that tells you everything you need to know about your press releases. You can even see who opened it. Watch our video here.
3. Tracking Blog or Web traffic
Return On Investment (ROI) is the most obvious way to prove if a campaign is successful or not. One way to measure overall ROI without looking at sales numbers is to monitor blog and web traffic on your companies website. If blog and web traffic are up from its normal statistics since launching a campaign and producing never before seen attention to your company’s online presence, then you know that your PR efforts are working successfully.
Another tactic to aid in this is using “referrals” in your blog posts that links the article back to the client’s website. By using referrals in your blog posts, it enables you to see exactly how many people are clicking back to the client’s website, feeling connected to or inspired by the original blog article.
4. Counting Brand Mentions
Increased online brand mentions can be a direct result of a successful PR campaign. Monitoring brand mention is a bit like social media monitoring, but with a more focused examination that gives you more accurate results. Monitoring brand mentions can help measure the success of your PR campaign by assessing not only mentions on social media platforms but assessing mentions on unbranded platforms as well.
This is important because most of the people who discuss brands online do not follow or use the companies social media pages to do so. Because of this, it is important for companies to monitor their brand mentions past the boundaries of their social media pages, in order to get broader coverage of their brands' online presence.
5. Set and Measure
In order to get an accurate evaluation of your PR campaign success, it is essential to set goals to be measured throughout. This means that before you launch the campaign set realistic targets to meet, and continuously measure your progress against these original targets throughout the campaign lifecycle.
This will not only keep your campaign on track, it will give real-time updates of the impact it is having on your target audiences. If you measure your results throughout, this tactic will enable you to see if you are hitting your targets or not and allow you to change or tweak things to drive the intended results you are seeking from your public.
By implementing these five easy tactics into your measurement plan, you will have a distinct idea of how to execute your next campaign and the proven reason behind it. Knowing what worked or what didn't work for your company after a PR campaign, will guarantee your future success in campaigns to come and secure the future of your company.
MediaHQ is a world-leading media contacts database and press release distribution tool. The software helps the world’s top PR and communications teams connect their stories with their audience